Rallying your students to serve others is such a great way to show them what it means to live out your faith beyond the four walls of a church. Not only that, but it’s a great way to call Gen Z to be a part of the solution that they are craving to be in the world.
When you decide that you want to start implementing serving opportunities for your students, first consider how you will roll them out. Will the whole group be involved? Will it be on a youth night, or a Saturday?
I would suggest that you challenge every small group (even if you only have one or two) to come up with what they will do on the serve night, and for it to be led by the small group leader all on the same night or day. In the following few weeks after the serve night, you can highlight some stories from the serve night in video format or live testimony for everyone to hear.
Come up with a list of serving opportunities and give it to each small group leader for some ideas on what they can do to serve.
When deciding on the list of serving opportunities, consider what felt needs are there around the community. For example, ‘is there an organization we can partner with and bless?’ ‘Is there an area around us that needs some clean up?’ ‘Is there a senior’s residence around us we can partner with and bless somehow,’ etc. Don’t assume the need is there and try and create a need out of thin air. Find a need and meet it.
I’ve compiled a list of 10 serving ideas meant to just get your creative juices flowing. Comment below any other ideas you have or things you’ve tried and let’s learn together.
Food Bank - Volunteer at and collect items for your local food bank.
Community Clean Up - Find a public area near your church that needs some attention and help clean it up. You can hand out water bottles or cook hot dogs and hand them out at the same time.
Meal Prep - Prepare some meals for parents of newborns, grieving families, or people with other needs.
Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes - Pack gift boxes to go overseas to kids through Samaritan’s Purse.
Free Car Wash - Host a free car wash at your church for your community.
Prep Meals for Ministry Downtown - Make bagged lunches with sandwiches and other goodies and head downtown to hand them out to those in need.
Volunteer at a Shelter - Find a local shelter and find out how your group can serve for a night.
Party in the Park - Host a party in a nearby community park with games for families, free food, prizes, etc. Invite those that show up to your church.
Christmas Gift Wrapping - Contact a mall nearby and see if they will let you come in and set up a free Christmas gift wrapping station to bless shoppers.
Missions Trip - One of the best ways to have your students serve is through a Missions Trip. Plan a Missions Trip for this summer. Check out this blog for some thoughts on why missions is important.
If you want some more serving ideas for your students, watch the interview with Gospel Centre below on how they incorporate serving year-round.